Around the Nation Podcast: We couldn’t wait either

Typically we’re not dropping the first Around the Nation Podcast episode of a particular season until after the first week of games, but the 2015 season is coming quickly and we’re looking forward to it.

Like most seasons, you can hope that this season will feature a different shade of purple at the end. Or, perhaps no purple at all. It could happen. Let’s discuss some of the possible teams. Plus, we’ll tell you what we’re working on for Kickoff, which is published at noon ET on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

If you’re new to or Division III football in general, the Around the Nation Podcast is a weekly conversation between Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan covering the wide range of Division III football. It drops on Monday morning weekly throughout the season. Use it to get all up to date on everything in Division III.

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Around the Nation Year in Review: What’d we miss?

A week before Bethel hit on a two-point conversion as part of an infamous ending to its game against Concordia-Moorhead, it denied Augsburg’s go-ahead two-point try and held on to win.
Photo by Ryan Coleman,

Earlier in the week, before we published the annual Around the Nation Year in Review column, we provided a sneak peek to some of our avid Twitter followers. They of course, enjoyed the peek, but pointed out things we missed.

The ATN YIR can’t be completely comprehensive, what with 1,200 games per season, but since we all have different perspectives, perhaps there were some moments that didn’t make our cut that still deserve discussing.

Augsburg SID Don Stoner pointed out a pretty relevant oversight:
An addendum to your end-of-year story, regarding Bethel’s living and dying by the two-point conversion:

The week prior to Bethel’s last-second win over Concordia-Moorhead, the Royals claimed a 21-20 win at Augsburg. With 1:46 left to play, Augsburg scored on a fourth-down touchdown pass to cut the Royals’ lead to 21-20, but a Bethel defender knocked away a pass by the Auggies on a two-point conversion attempt. Augsburg did have another chance to win the game with 32 seconds remaining, but a Bethel interception ended the threat.

One other possible note for you:

Augsburg claimed last-second, “Hail Mary” victories on the road two seasons in a row. In 2011, the Auggies claimed a 32-31 win in the “Miracle in Collegeville” at St. John’s; this year (Sept. 15), the Auggies scored a 26-24 win at Gustavus in the “Miracle in St. Peter,” as first-year quarterback Ayrton Scott threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane on the final offensive play of the game. Augsburg drove 80 yards on seven plays in the final 34 seconds of the game to claim the win. Bourne-McFarlane pulled double-duty for the Auggies this year, as both a safety on defense and wide receiver on offense.
I’d be glad to consider your oversights, especially if you point them out as kindly as Don did. Not everything we missed is because we didn’t want to include it. Sometimes we just forget.

And in case you missed them in the column, here are our Plays of the Week, compiled into a Plays of the Year video:

ATN Podcast: East implodes?

UW-Whitewater cornerback Matt McCulloch knocks a pass away from UW-Stevens Point receiver Jared Jenkins.
Photo by Darryl Tessman,

So, yes, the East’s last best chance at a No. 1 seed went by the wayside this weekend when Cortland rallied to beat Montclair State. And yes, Mount Union wasn’t ranked No. 1 in the North in the last poll, but that doesn’t mean the Purple Raiders can’t still make the move.

Pool B got a shakeup Saturday when Case Western Reserve took its first loss after 38 consecutive regular-season victories. How far does this open the door for other Pool B contenders?

Pat Coleman and Keith McMillan discuss the possibilities in this week’s Around the Nation Podcast. But there’s more — Keith visited UW-Whitewater on Saturday for the first time since 2005 and came away impressed by all that has changed at Perkins Stadium in the past five years. Plus, there’s a bunch of big games coming up next week as teams try to wrap up automatic bids.

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